Chapter 73: Cultivation Civilization (2)
Xu Yangyi sucked in deeply, yet only felt his blood boiling! Nascent Soul… Any book said that Nascent Soul didn't exist, but right now, Li Zongyuan had merely said there was also a possibility.
This kind of style that disdained the world, a manner where one did not exist in Jianghu, yet Jianghu held the might of one's legend, could truly be considered unrivaled beneath the heavens!*
Whether or not they were alive was already unimportant. Even if they were only corpses, China was also incapable of halting the legend of Nascent Soul!
If there is a day where I am capable of walking to this stage...
I shall ascend Mount Tai, glancing over the many mountains below as insignificant!**
In his mind, an idea that had existed even in the past was incomparably distinct at this moment. As soon as things settled down, the first thing he would was cultivate the Eternal Alchemy Canon!
Power, power was number one! Without strength, a Foundation Establishment cultivator could force him to choose between a temporary retreat or the tip of a spear. If he was at Core Formation at this moment, would he still need to waste his breath?
He clenched his fist.
Foundation Establishment, Senior. Core Formation, Dao Master. Nascent Soul… was called Dao Lord?
He downed a big gulp of beer, letting his mood settle: "Continue."
"Yes… After the explosion of the atomic bomb, within a week, over a dozen Core Formation cultivators in seclusion came out in astonishment. Two weeks later, the Zhou Clan of the White Horse, as a clan of a thousand-year inheritance, lead the five great cultivation clans of Nanjiang to Beijing for the first time, formally opening the gate to cultivator-human cooperation."***
"The Zhou Clan? Not the Chen Clan?"
"Master…" The inside of Li Zongyuan's mouth was like he was sucking on a bitter melon: "It's the Zhou Clan…"
Xu Yangyi oohed, his finger gently rapping on the nightstand: "I remember there were two more occurrences that greatly shocked the cultivation world. Tell me about them; I seemed to have fallen asleep at that time. I wasn't listening."
"Yes, Master. Just as it began, the cultivation world likewise wasn't paying attention to humanity. This kind of situation even persisted for a long time… until the first satellite was launched in 1957. The Heavenly Eye, this, was the second shock of the cultivation world…"****
"The third time was the arms race between the United States and the USSR, causing great fear and trepidation to the Core Formation masters… Later on, humanity's rapid progress in technological and scientific development, from the end of the World War II to the present, could be counted as humanity's fastest and fiercest era of growth… Cultivators finally had to recognize humanity's position…"
"Because their lives were already inseparable to humanity's inventions." Xu Yangyi laughed ruefully, flicking at a beer bottle: "Do you know what the best thing to buy for each province's China Clan Cup Finals and the National Cultivator Ranking Championship is?"
Li Zongyuan understood implicitly without pause, yet asked, not daring to believe: "B-beer?"
Xu Yangyi laughed as he looked at the small dish before him: "Or all kinds of braised foods and barbecue."
Li Zongyuan lamented: "Master is wise… Foundation Establishment seniors are still good, but they also have their family members and their clans, as well. Yet their descendants are incapable of separating from the internet, automobiles, airplanes… clothing, food, transportation, and home. This is a true village encircled by cities… Cultivators realize this, but simply think not to change…"
"An immortal cannot cast away convention, as well." Xu Yangyi laughed.
Qi Condensation's longevity was normal. Foundation Establishment's longevity was greater by a single-fold, those of demons' being two times more. Thirty to forty years was likewise the maximum proportion. In such an endless time… humankind's golden age of development had thoroughly reversed cultivators' impression of humanity!
"Since the beginning that cultivators discovered their administration methods fell behind; their food, transport, home, and clothing were retrogressed, and all of their everything failed to meet this previously disdained colony of insects, in the 60s, nearly all the clans thereupon started inseparable relations with humanity. Master, in the cultivator clans, true geniuses are as rare as phoenix feathers and qilin horns. For the most part, there are many ordinary cultivators like me that are without hope to advance and cannot even step into the middle stage. The people of those clans subsequently…"
He coughed: "These people were the first so-called 'cultivation capitalists'. They began to use the cultivation world's easily acquired jewels and even pill elixirs to trade for large sums of mortal capital… however, this posed a question. Mortals don't accept the cultivation world's common currency, spirit stones."
"This is the well-known 'monetary harmonization'. I still remember this." Xu Yangyi drank from his beer and followed up: "From the sixties to the eighties, because the cultivation world wanted widespread access with humanity, they finally incorporated the spirit stone into each country's currency exchange table. Of course, so long as they live, ordinary people can't see this table. Only special organizations can view it. This was also the first time the cultivation world yielded to humanity."
"For there to be a first time means that there will be a second. Followingly, all kinds of cultivation world goods began to enter humanity's exchange list. If you were fortunate enough to participate in each major city's Bountiful Treasures Pavilion's and famous clan's auctions, you would know of these things. Next, the cultivation world finally got a taste of the strength of humanity's capital, that is, the power of money. The entire globe's major monopolies and governments began to offer to the cultivation world the good they were most scarce of: people."
He stopped. His understanding in regards to humanities was limited to this. After all, he was a martial tyrant.
Li Zongyuan recognized his cue and immediately continued on: "That's right. Any cultivator can't possibly go accomplish anything by themselves. They also need a team. As a result, all kinds of elites from human society were pulled into this true world after they signed a life-death pact."
"And then here at last, even though the cultivation world was sealed off for several millennia, in a short several decades, it underwent a perfect fusion with humanity… Now, all kinds of cultivation companies are everywhere. The vast mountains and great lakes, legendary secret lands, all are developed by cultivator-employed human companies, organizations, and cooperative partners. All kinds of ancient industries such as auction and pawning have been revitalized from death from under the foundational premise of humanity's several billion people…"
"Soon after, many kinds of contracts began to be signed. For example, between the cultivators, humans, and the demons, there was the most famous 'Shennong Convention', as well as the 'Cultivator Antitrust Law', and so on. At the same time though, many parties started to appear in the cultivation world. Ultimately, they were separated into two factions. One faction was the doves, advocating for amicable relations with humanity. The other faction was the hawks, persistent in their belief that powers aside from cultivators ought to be taken with a hard-line stance."
Li Zongyuan laughed hollowly: "Master, in fact, I think that regardless of which faction, cultivators are no longer capable of tolerating a breakaway from human society for a day… because they have already become accustomed…"
Xu Yangyi was somewhat rueful: "As the benefits began to come together, everyone was left unable to free themselves."
"Yes, Master. Nevertheless, there was benefit. Cultivators started to discover that they were actually able to earn spirit stones even easier than before by developing spirit veins in comparison to staying in seclusion. You see, if there was no generous profit, would the China Cloud Data Corporation that supplies China's cultivation net with data give up on cultivation to do this? They're all people hopeless in cultivation, but for the honor of their sects, they raise profit to rear a few top seedlings."
"Aren't the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion and the Featherwood Guard also like this? They have many people without hope to breakthrough, enjoying wealth and rank, and earning money for an assault on Core Formation to supply to headquarters… Master, I once read a book that had a phrase in it. Capital is a thing that when released cannot be taken back… The modern world is of this structure; benefits are number one. Moreover, if you want to cultivate, which one of a cultivator's Four Directives, wealth, scripture, companions, and spiritually rich lands, can do without money?"
"For example, the doves hold harmonious relations regardless of humans or demons. Even the hawks have never advocated for excessive unyieldingness."
"Thus, for the cultivator world, humanity, and demons, there exist the present steady, yet weak, development period. Master, I'm done reading."
"So it is." Xu Yangyi flicked at the bed. The cultivation world had already completely evolved into a small society. This was the reason within. Just as he stood up, he suddenly raised a brow and laughed: "Done reading?"
In the outside world, Li Zongyuan was fiddling with an iPad in his hand, using his webbed finger to gently tap on it and said respectfully: "I once bought the hacked account of an Exalted Lord on China's cultivation net. I can almost read all the messages. These were all things from the cultivation net… Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to give such a clear analysis. Is Master still bored?"
Xu Yangyi paused, silent for a moment. He asked cautiously: "Have you… heard of Emperor Armament?"
"No!" Li Zongyuan answered rather swiftly: "In my thirty-odd years, I've never heard this name… What is it?"
"Search the cultivation net." Xu Yangyi said.
Several seconds later, Li Zongyuan's voice was heard again: "Master, still nothing."
Xu Yangyi nodded, narrowing his eyes as he stroked his chin.
Vermillion Snow was already half-step Core Formation. The possibility that an object which could cause her unparalleled astonishment was fake was not great. It shouldn't not have existed… but rather it couldn't be spoken of, didn't dare to be given voice to.
"Interesting." He laughed, sitting down in meditation.
The room quieted down, and like so, time passed on by the day. After approximately a week went by, Li Zongyuan's respectful voice emerged in his consciousness: "Master, we're here."
A group of people walked out from the sealed space. Before them was a paradise. Verdant open plains littered the stepped fields of the hillside. Below there was a quiet stream and groves of pink peach blossoms formed the most beautiful ornamentation for this brook.
"Master, according to the map navigation, this place should be in China's most northern major province, a remote village subordinated to Wei City, which is in the middle urban district of Songjiang Province."
Xu Yangyi took the cell phone in the other's hand and looked at it, nodding in satisfaction.
The north bound was the border between China and Russia. The location seemed convenient, but the greater the border, the easier it was to receive specific attention. From here to the border, he could make it in several hours with full-blown sprint. If an accident occurred, there was also a retreat route.
This present location wasn't a county. It was a place that had currently broken away from all of the Chinese government's internet that could be accessed. After all, the capabilities of a Foundation Establishment cultivator couldn't be disdained.
Especially since this Foundation Establishment cultivator was still a provincial branch master of the Featherwood Guard.
"This is the place." Xu Yangyi stowed his gaze: "In three days, I'll need a large basement. The basement must be shockproof and soundproof. Prepare half a year's worth of Fasting Pill Elixir. Go."
Li Zongyuan immediately left. Xu Yangyi looked towards the somewhat cowering wolf demon and the wordless Zhou Tingting: "You only have one choice."
The duo didn't speak, and Xu Yangyi didn't press them at all. He only turned around and left, pulled out a cigarette and lit it, and took a deep drag: "Don't think I owe you anything."
"Back then, I asked whether or not you were willing to help me. Moreover, I said I didn't know of those peoples' identities." His gaze was without a trace of fluctuation: "I told you explicitly that their backing was quite great."
"The reward is Dew Congealing Grass. You accepted it, and afterwards, I also settled accounts. We've broken even."
"Or perhaps there is also an even simpler method." Xu Yangyi turned around, smiling as he looked at them: "There's only one kind of person that can keep a secret for eternity."
Already, he had no time to take care of other matters. His person was burdened with two oaths and his own blood hatred. Even now he was impatient to begin cultivating the Eternal Alchemy Canon.
At this kind of time, any uncertain elements had to be erased. This wasn't a time to act according to emotion.
The tale of the farmer and the snake, and the old story of Mr. Dongguo was told too many times. It didn't need to be spoken of again.*****
* Jianghu, a.k.a Rivers and Lakes. If you've been reading these cultivation/wuxia/xianxia novels for a while, you have an idea what it is. If you don't it's kinda of an idea that encompasses the lifestyle of a martial artist, perhaps it could even be thought of as a greater idea of a martial path. I didn't choose to translate this because I feel that this word in itself comprises a greater idea and should be left unchanged.
** This is a line from a Tang Poet, Du Fu. His works are extremely well-regarded, introduced to western readers as a Chinese Shakespeare, Baudelaire, Ovid, etc. In a more straightforward way, the line means "To be at the top and then look at the mountains down below and see how small they are".
*** There is a lot of historical background in this, mainly the Zhou Clan of the White Horse. Unfortunately, I am unsure if I truly understood the history behind this. Otherwise, it is the Baimazhou Clan, which doesn't really quite make sense. From what I know/researched, the Zhou Clan here is probably pointing to the house of Duke Wen of Zhou, credited with writing The Book of Changes. The Zhou dynasty was before the Qin dynasty. The White Horse portion is a bit more tricky. It is either referring to A: the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple established in China (68 AD during the Han Dynasty) or B: refers to a nod towards a school of thought known as the School of Names, which originated from Mohism. Modern day, those of the School of Names are knowns as Logicians or Dialecticians. This school of thought originates from an idea of viewing the world through complements. The idea of the White Horse is a paradox from this school that involves the idea of two people arguing between the idea of a white horse is not just an ordinary horse, while the opposing side views the other speaker as thinking that a white horse is not a horse in itself. Very difficult to explain. I suggest looking up this paradox for further study. In any case, I am inclined to believe it is referring to point B because Zhou Dynasty and School of Names existed in the same era.
**** The Heavenly Eye is a real thing. It is better known as the 500 meter aperture spherical telescope.
***** This lines refers to two stories, The Farmer and the Snake, and the Wolf of Zhongshan. The Farmer and the Snake is traditionally a story from aesop's tale. The Wolf of Zhongshan is a traditional chinese fable dated back to the Ming dynasty (1500s~). You can look up both these stories up on wikipedia, but long story short, moral of the story is you don't mess around with real important stuff.